Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I'm extremely excited about the arrival of this newest little Sams baby. We are all prepared for her, at least to the best of our abililties. I have the clothes all set - washed, dried, folded, put away by size. I have disposable diapers and wipes for her, until she fits in her cloth diapers. I have the baby food mill and the blender ready for when she eats solids. I have the blankets, the receivers, the bouncer seat, the pack and play, the crib, the nursing pads, the diaper bin, and the slings. I am taking Evening Primrose Oil and I have my Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. I've got my Swiss ball to sit on, and my midwife on standby.

But the what ifs keep popping up. I can be doing something normal, like washing my dishes, when suddenly I'm thinking about the what ifs. And the what ifs bring fear.

I know that fear is not from God. I know that fear is not something I have to live with. But it's very real and it's very obvious to me.

Ignorance was bliss. When I got pregnant with Oceana my biggest fear was that she would arrive via C-section. Second on the list was, what if the gender was wrong? We'll have to return all this pink stuff! Our friend's lost their son who was born at 26 weeks, after spending 6 weeks with him in the NICU. But it still didn't hit home with me that sometimes the ending's not as happy as you want it to be. Then a year later, our friends Jevon and Jenn had their son and he passed away less than a week later. This was my first introduction to Trisomy. My first introduction to something that went wrong from the very conception of the baby. And yet, it still didn't make sense to me. I just thought he had a "bad form of Down Syndrome" (that's literally how I explained it to people, for lack of understanding).

And then one fateful day in August 2007 we learned what a neural tube defect was. What an encephalocele was. What else could be wrong with our son. A long list of possiblities. None of them were good.

And then I sought out people on the internet with similar stories. And I learned about microcephaly, Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 13. I learned about fatal forms of dwarfism and heart issues. I learned about stillbirth. I learned about extended NICU stays. And I learned that sometimes women walk out of the maternity wing without a carseat in hand.

Ignorance was bliss. Before I knew all this, I could just be excited about blue and pink.

But now? Now, I have to work to "forget" all the possibilities. All the problems. All the potential issues. And some days I do better than others.

I have very real fears. And at the forefront of those fears, is the fear that I won't get to keep her. Just being honest my friends, just being honest. I have no reason to think there's a problem, just simply the fear of past experience.

Keep us in your prayers, dear ones. It's a difficult road to walk, even though it should be a happy one. I'm quite happy to stay pregnant for another week. In another week, I may not be so thrilled. But at 39 weeks, I can handle it for one more week. She's safe. She's sound. I just need to get my head in the game. Maybe she hasn't arrived yet, because I'm not emotionally ready for her to arrive. In some regards, I don't know when I'll be ready.


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  1. Susie,

    You'll be ready when God sends her to you.

    My prayers with be with you that you can tell Satan to "bug off" so to speak and begin to feel comfortable and comfident about your daughters debut. Nothing ever goes perfectly as we plan. But that is why we plan. To give us an expectation that is positive!

    Lord, be with Susie during this time of fear. Calm her fears. Give her peace to know that you are so close to her right now with this child she will deliver because you wanted her to. Let her have no complications or surprises. Allow things to go smooth from beginning to end. Lord, we ask these things because we know you CAN do all these things. We thank you for being with Susie and allowing her to take care of another one of your children. In Jesus Precious and Holy Name we ask and pray. Amen

    I can't wait to hear of her arrival.

    God Bless You Susie and Matt and little Oceana.

  2. I have been a lurker for awhile. (That sounds so creepy.) But I wanted you to know that I will be praying for you. May God bless you with a healthy, whole beautiful baby girl!

  3. Susie,

    I have read your blog daily since around the time Joshua was born. I love it when you post. You are so wise beyond your years and I thank you so very much for your openness. Your heart is so precious and sweet. Thank you for sharing that precious and sweet heart.

    Katie in Texas

  4. Your feelings are normal for a mommy that has lost a precious little one. Praying for peace for you and Matt. Praying that you are able to enjoy the last several days of your pregnancy and excitedly anticipate the birth of your new little girl.
    Hugs and Prayers
    Rachel in PA

  5. Hi Susie,

    I read your blog, but rarely comment. I do think that you're right and this fear comes from the enemy and God can and does get us through it. Knowing what can happen does take the innocent fun out of being pregnant, but I think it makes us have a richer experience.

    It's hard to appreciate what a gift a healthy baby is, until the realization of what can happen. Not that a different child or a miscarriage isn't a gift, because I do think is. It is just a harder road to walk.

    I am praying for an uneventful delivery and a peace that only comes from Him. Blessings, Janet

  6. Those fears are real and as you have found painful. I pray that as you all put your eyes on Jesus you will find peace and comfort and HIS joy as you walk through the next few weeks in your journey of life!

    Love & Prayers, PAM IN PA

  7. oh sweetie! you're in our prayers! You are going to be holding your perfect little girl in your arms so soon.


  8. I understand your fears so well. It's what made me have my kids 5 years apart. It's what made me a screaming wreck during my last pregnancy & kept me from truly enjoying that pregnancy. It's also what made me literally go berserk on the operating table (I do c-sections). Guess what? Everything Was okay. She was beautiful & perfect (still is; well, I Am her mom, have to say that. It's in the contract!)

    Everything will be fine. I do believe this w/ all of my heart. Soon you too, will see this & I know that your heart will rejoice. And I see by your tweets that you Are in labor!!! Yipee! So maybe forget all about that other & just get ready to PUSH!

  9. I dont have any kids of my own but I do understand your fears and where they're coming from.
    Please know that I am praying for you every day!

  10. I can't imagine the fear and the what ifs that you must be facing. You are a beautiful pregnant lady with a beautiful family and I cannot wait to see the newest Sams baby! Good luck with the home birth - can't wait to read about that too! Thanks for sharing what's on your heart.

    Thinking of you in Tennessee, USA.

  11. great post. I cannot wait for the day when you are holding a beautiful healthy baby girl in your arms and your fear is laid to rest. I have no experience with loss of a child so I cannot give you advice. Only know that I will say a prayer for you that you will be filled with peace before that baby girl decides to make her arrival.

  12. Praying for you. I know I'm a total stranger to you. I have read your story and your fears are completely understandable. We have never lost a child after birth but after our second child was born and she needed helping breathing my husband feared birth and didn't want more for fear of losing a child. I convinced him of another, than another {which we lost to tubal pregnancy} and then another... who also needed to be resesitated at birth. He will not even consider for a moment now... the joy of bringing another child into this world for fear of losing that child.
    Pray for you.. for your little one, and for the joy of birth to overcome the fear of what if.
    God bless.

  13. We're praying for you. I can only imagine what those fears must be like. You're a strong woman!

  14. I have thought about all the things that you said so many time and I'm sure it's going to be harder once I really do get pregnant. But I just wanted to tell you that I will be praying for you and your family I know it's going to be hard to put your mind at ease until you are holding your sweet baby girl in your arms. I also know that we serve a big God bigger than we could even begin to know and I know that He will comfort you during this time. I'm not sure if you know about this blog http://emily0305.blogspot.com/ but she is also pregnant with a baby after losing her last baby. She is 37 weeks along anyway she wrote a post today that is very encouraging!
    love ya,

  15. I'm certainly praying for safety for both of you but also for peace of mind in the unknown. I believe that God will help you walk through whatever comes, even if it's just second by second. Hugs!

  16. Susie,
    I am praying for you! Hang in there..God is with you:)

  17. We are thinking of you and keeping you in our prayers. Your post was well written and you have every right to have fear. You are human and have those feelings! That is why you are such a great mom! Just remember a life lived in fear is only a life half lived! I can't wait to see pics of "flipflop"!
    I wish I was brave and strong enough for a home birth....I need drugs!!

  18. Something I learned his week, thought it might help you...When we find ourselves fearful and we look in the pantry of our hearts and we notice things are missing and other things have been put in their spot, like your peace is gone and fear is in it's place, and your joy is gone and doubt is staring you down, that's when we know we have been robbed. The enemy comes to steal kill and destroy, and he has stolen something from you. God told me this week, Those were MINE, He gave them to me, and I have the RIGHT and the AUTHORITY to demand them back, and I don't have to be nice about it!!! Satan cannot keep something from us that we demand back. So I urge you to throw his crappy fear back in his face, and demand your certainty, your joy, your peace, and your trust in Who God is back! Demand it and he has not choice but to give it back. Our authority is here on earth, this is our dominion that God gave us, we don't need to wait until Heaven to fight the battle, our call is to do it here! If we bind things on earth that God commands us to loose on earth then we are tying the hands on God. He has to step back from us when we want to take control and decide what to be afraid of. God tells us to fear Him ALONE. I pray peace and certainty over you and want you to know that I am perched in the bell tower picking off the enemy as he tries everything is his arsenal to make you stumble. I hope this brings you comfort and renews your knowledge of the power and authority God gave you as HIS Holy and Righteous daughter!

  19. Lauren in Spring, TXMarch 31, 2009 at 12:41 PM

    I don't know that one is EVER "ready" after a loss. You just live the life you are given to live and "readiness" becomes irrelevant...

    It does blow to have your joy pounced upon - strangled by the ever present knowledge of the possible realities. But I wonder if that doesn't make the positive outcomes that much more miraculous?

  20. Thank you, Susie, for your honesty. I have two healthy babies and still worry sometimes about the "what ifs." You are right that your fear is not from GOd, but from the devil. He wants you to worry and suffer. I pray that these last few days of your pregnancy will go smoothly and that your mind will be at ease.

  21. hey - on the low BP, mine was lower about 24 hours before labor started. Very odd for me, but since I was going to be seen by my MW the next day she didn't worry about it. But luckily, the next time she saw me I was in labor - so maybe..............

  22. Your fears are completely understandable. When you were pregnant with Joshua, you knew he was Ok and alive while he was inside your belly. But once he was born it was all unknown. Would be take a breathe? Would he smile? Would you get to hold him? Bond with him?

    But God was faithful to you and Joshua and took Joshua home in the perfect timing.

    I can see why holding Flip Flop in your belly and feeling her move is reassuring. She is safe inside your belly. She tells you she is Ok with every movement. But the being born part is what is unknown. And even though you have every reason to believe she will be healthy and whole, the fear creeps in.

    You are human. And you just went through a huge loss in losing Joshua and it was just over a year ago. I can see how the fears can creep in and cause you to doubt.

    I wish I had something full of wisdom to say that would alleviate those fears. All I can offer is my positive thoughts and prayers. I will be holding you close to my heart as you wait for the arrival of your beautiful daughter!

    And like always I thank you for sharing some of your deepest feelings with us in Blog Land. Even under the greatest pressure you show such grace. You are a wonderful example to me. Thank you!

  23. I have never had one of my own children die but Last year July my niece died and I have found many similar stories. Last night my in-laws nervously asked me how baby was and I tried to re-assure them without them feeling the same fear that I'll not be able to keep my 3rd little boy.

  24. You have learned a very hard lesson that no parent ever wants to , and that is sometimes bad things happen to good people. God bless you and your family and your baby, try to enjoy this time! You will be in my prayers!

  25. I found your blog almost one year ago exactly and cried and cried as I read about the life of your precious Joshua. And then I cried again when you announced that this new little one was coming! All these people read your blog and most, you have probably never even met, but here everyone is surrounding you, encouraging you and lifting up to our loving God. May He still your fears and fill you with joy and lots of peace!


  26. I'm praying for you guys! I love you :-)

  27. I'm not going to pretend to know what it's like to have walked in your shoes, so let me preface this by saying that.

    You know........I felt the same way with my 3rd. With #1, I was blissfully unaware, wth #2 I knew more but I was confident, but with #3 I felt...out of control, fearful, scared out of my mind the entire time. I spent that pregnancy being absolutely sure something was wrong, something would happen to my baby.

    I talked to a friend and she had the same thing happen and she called it "3rd baby syndrome", said she'd known MANY moms who'd gone through the same thing the 3rd time around.

    I don't know why, but I think it's normal. And, obviously, it's probably hitting a little harder for you.

    But.....just so you know..........you're not alone. I didn't really enjoy my third pregnancy at all, I was too worried. Sometimes, I still can't believe he's here and fine and normal. :P


  28. I will be praying for you. It is hard not to let fear rule you. Especially after what you went through with Joshua. It is tough. I am praying for you.

  29. Ohhhh amen, sister. Amen and amen and amen and amen. I'm in a very, very similar boat. I'll pray for you, you pray for me. Deal? ;)

    He'll carry us all.

  30. Right there with you in the club of people-who-know-it's-not-always-kittens-and-daisies. I'm sorry. May God give you *peace*.

  31. Anyone who has been through the loss you have would feel as you do. Yes, sometimes ignorance is bliss! Find some Scriptures related to fear and read them, pray them and then you just have to wait. Yuk. Being in the "waiting room" is always one of the hardest things in life. Do also remember that the vast majority of babies come and live as expected but oh the lessons learned in the waiting room. I'll pray for you.

    Sandy Manning
    Plano, TX

  32. As a doula I have learned not to question someone's fear. It is all so real to that person. I will suggest that you talk about it to someone process it understand it & try to trust. Trust in yourself, your body, you baby, your God. Your baby will decide to come when that is released.
    You have loss so much don't let that over shadow the beauty of this gift you were given.

  33. Firstly - that photo is ***FANTASTIC***.
    Secondly - "His left hand is under my head and with his right hand he embraces me" Song of Solomon 2:6
    I Love this scripture. God is SOOOO BIG yet he hold us and embraces up. I know you know this, but just remember that God has you and your precious family covered.
    Take care my friend - lots of luv xxxx

  34. Fear is what the genetisist told Hank and Jolene would cloud the joy of another pregnancy...I told them the Lord is bigger than any fear and He has walked with them thus far and not left them and will continue to carry them no matter what His plans are for them. Is it normal to have those fears? 100% I will pray for your baby girl and also for the Lord to calm your heart.Thanks for being honest...it allows others to be the same.

  35. Susie,
    You most definately have great reason to feel this way. You've been there & seen things that most of us pray we never do. And Satan's using that experience to step on your toes right now. It's so hard to brush him off & focus on the celebration for this little one when you've lived a life that includes the loss of a child. HUGS & prayers going up for you!!

  36. I pray you get to keep her here with you as anticipated, and that her birth is very peaceful and joyful.

    Don't feel bad for being scared, it's no failing on your part! I really admire your resilience and faith in your grief, whilst not running from it. You are certainly strong and courageous like your son.

  37. Oh...reading of your fears so sends me back. You are right...and there is a robbing of innocence, of the sweet oblivion. And once it's gone, life is much different. All I can say is what you already know. He will carry you through with His sufficient grace. And He holds all of you, even now, just as He has held you up until this place in your journey.

    We are praying, as always...we are praying...

  38. Your thoughts hit close to home for me, so I wanted to share something that I learned last week.
    Last week in Bible Study we were talking about fear (We are studying Queen Esther and how she had to come through her fear to go into the king with the "if I perish, I perish" attitude and how the heck did she get there). The thing that really helped me was a comment that the teacher made that the only thing that can really help us overcome our fear is believing that God will be there for us no matter what, and trusting Him for that. (Faith in God, not just that He will do what we want). I know that is something that He taught you with Joshua, and I think He's reminding you again. Our fears aren't stupid or trivial, and God wants us to be able to tell Him about them, but in that telling He is so faithful to meet us there and reassure us that He will always be there, no matter what.
    We are praying for a wonderful, safe, healthy delivery and baby girl!

  39. Susie,
    I will be praying for you these next few days... hopefully not weeks:)I completely get the fear factor after losing Samuel. The mind is such a powerful thing... sometimes good and sometimes not so good. I will be praying that you can take every thought captive. God is in control... Keep trusting in the special plan that he has for your family. This is uniquely your story. I have loved being along for the ride to hear it.

    Susie, you look beautiful. I can't wait to hear of that precious ones arrival.

  40. oh man do i know what you are talking about. I had the exact same thoughts before Sarah arrived. Actually I still jump up at night if she sleep a bit longer then normal to check if she is still with us.

    I guess when you have been through something like we have you just can not go back to being innocent and worry about pink or blue.

    I'm dealing with it the same way I dealt with my pregnancy with Sarah - one day at the time. And I thank god every night that I got another day.

  41. praying for you as the big day approaches. praying for all fears to subside.

  42. christina taylorApril 1, 2009 at 8:48 PM

    I agree ignorance was bliss, the fears are so hard and so real. Even when little LEvi has a cold, just like the last few days, i think, will be breath ok allll night? I guess thats when we need Gods miraculous grace to keep remembering they arnt ours to begin with. ouch, sometimes i dont like that, BUT how stupid of me not to like it, Hes their father i have them on barrow. I am feeling for you Susie, and of course as always i am praying, all our love,

  43. Thank you so much for your honesty. Your continued strength is moving,I pray for your family, and hope that you and your baby are healthy and happy. I cant wait to hear that everything went wonderfully!

  44. Good Luck Suzie!! I can't wait to hear about and see pictures of your bound to be beautiful perfect little girl! prayers sent for a easy delivery!

    Lil_DZ_ mommy from babyfit :)

  45. The best way to clean cloth diapers is to pre-rinse them off in the toilet using a Hand Bathroom Bidet Sprayer. So convenient and if you are trying to help the environment (and your pocket book) you can give it a double whammy by virtually eliminating toilet paper use at the same time as you benefit from using it on the diapers, by using it on yourself. I think Dr. Oz on Oprah said it best: "if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn't wipe it off with paper, would you? You'd wash it off" Available at www.bathroomsprayers.com they come in an inexpensive kit and can be installed without a plumber. And after using one of these you won't know how you lasted all those years with wadded up handfuls of toilet paper. Now we're talking green and helping the environment without any pain.

  46. Thinking of you...as you await her soon arrival...even if she's already here

  47. I dreamt about reading your blog and I missed the post where you introduced us to your little girl. I jumped up this morning to check, whew, I didn't miss anything, lol.

  48. Susie,

    I'm praying for you to have a smooth delivery. Everything will go as you have planned. God is in control remember. And, you have planned whatever God has planned for you. Right. ? OK that's even confusing me. Just letting you know my daughter and I are praying for you and all around you.

    Sonja - Fl

  49. Hey can you send Anonyomous to come and talk to my strech marks too? Sheesh!

  50. Susie
    Hope all is fine. Strange not to hear from you for 3 days. Hope it is because you are so in to the nesting thing. May your labor be short, may your daughter be beautiful, just like Oceana. Praying for you in Atlantic, Canada.(heck we had 32cm of snow this past Monday:-((


  51. I check your blog like 5 times a day to see if you have had that baby yet. I'm praying for you.

  52. I am praying for you! May God comfort you in this time of uncertainty, and bring you absolute joy when your little girl finally arrives! :)

  53. I hear ya, girl. I so hear ya. But, now that I've had the baby-after-THAT-baby, I'm here to tell ya...

    All will be well.

    That's not to say I don't do my own neurological and physical exam on her every day, but that's just my weird way of bonding, okay??? Hahah.

    Seriously, I never imagined it would be possible to be this happy and calm after having a baby. Can't wait for your turn!